Monday, April 29, 2013

Epbot Exemplars 4/29/13

It has been waaay too long since I featured some new Exemplars, you guys. How could you let me get away with that? Yell at me or something next time, will you?

For those who don't remember, this is where I feature mostly younger geek girls proudly just being themselves - and of course I always reserve the right to showcase older geek girls or guys, too. Because we don't have "rules" here - more like "guidelines." ARRR.

Julie B. writes, "My almost 4 year old daughter's Halloween costume arrived in the mail today from a friend (we had the tutu and leggings already), and she is so excited. Is it October yet?"

YES! And I love that she chose red instead of the usual R2 blue, Julie! So great! 

(I'm suddenly struck with the need to see a whole troupe of little girl droids in every color of the rainbow.  MAKE THIS HAPPEN, INTERNET.)

Next we have Abi, who writes:

"Dear Jen,
I am 12 years old, and a major geek girl and artist. About a year ago, I started to read your blog, and to be honest, it was a major thing. I used to hide my geekiness at school, and I was not happy a lot of the time. As I read your blog more, I became more comfortable with my geekiness, and stopped hiding it. My life is SO much better now, and I am so much happier. I really wanted to thank you for that, and for introducing me to steampunk. It is now one of the loves of my life, and I'm working on next year's Halloween costume already. (It's going to be a steampunk girl-version of the Phantom of the Opera. *squeal* I can't wait!!) This year's was a steampunk air worker, from Scott Westerfeld's 'Leviathan.'"

This gal has fantastic taste in blogs, books, AND costumes, you guys. She's totally going places.

Here's five-year-old Allison cosplaying as Pixie from the X-men at Chicago Comic-Con:


That was two years ago. Here she is now at age seven rocking her favorite hat - which her mom Leigh tells me she wears pretty much every day:

A-HA! I spy a Whovian!

Allison's four-year-old sister Lizzie is also on the proper path to geekdom; when her school had a "pirates and princesses" day, she decided to be the Amazon princess, Wonder Woman:


Seriously, this makes me so happy I could bust.

Their mom Leigh writes,  

"I love that my girls have no qualms about liking what they like. I love Epbot for being a resource to show them that they are not alone. I'm not naive enough to think that they will always feel as free to be themselves as they do now. I just hope that knowing there are other girls out there who like the things they like will help them find a community they might not have in real life.  But I am also holding out hope that by sharing their love of superheroes, science, and other 'geeky' things, maybe they're influencing other kids to be themselves too!"

I have no doubt they are, Leigh, and good on you for being such an awesome mom!

Sandy R. posted this on the Epbot Facebook page, saying, "Just felt like trying to make your day, Jen. Yes, that is a Darth Vader clipped to my 3YO daughter's backpack. :)"

Day = MADE.

Which reminds me - here's one of my formerly featured Exemplars, Hayden, with her sixth birthday cake:

Yep, she requested the Darth Vader-riding-a-My-Little-Pony design - and just look at that grin! (I like the substitution of Rainbow Dash, btw - good choice, Hayden!) Note how all the ponies around the cake have Star Wars riders, too. Ha! [Cake by Sweet Startt's Bakery]

I'm probably the last person on the 'net to finally post this, but if you haven't seen Little Girls Are Better At Designing Superheroes Than You, you should totally check it out. It's an art project by Alex Law, where he draws superheros based on real costumes little girls have put together:

He only has about half a dozen up so far, but I'm hoping the fact that his project went viral last week will encourage him to do lots more!

Oh, and I've mentioned it before, but Alex got some of those original photos from Girls Love Superheroes, Too, another excellent blog. (LOOK AT THIS TINY HAWK GIRL. AND THIS WEE WONDER WOMAN. AND THIS SASSY BAT GIRL. AND...ok, ok, I'm done. Really.)

And finally, I'm going to wrap up with Sierra T's story, because I love it to pieces and it's super inspiring. She writes:

"I was a closet geek all through high school and college. I desperately wanted to embrace the geeky side of me, but I got enough grief just being the toned down geek version of me. Like so many geek girls, I got teased and picked on and excluded. As much as I wanted to watch Star Trek marathons and read from the sci-fi section of the bookstore, I pushed that down and away in the interest of having some sort of social life. I found Epbot through chance and would literally sneak away to read it so no one could tease me.

"I saw all your pictures of the cons that you went to and the Ah-Mazing costumes that were there and I was so jealous that you could be so open about what you liked. Then it was like a light bulb went off in my brain, and I realized, life is far too short to worry about what everyone else may think.

"It was empowering!  I went to my first convention in October and even dressed up. I have a new friend who went with me because there are other geek girls out there (who knew, right?). It was fun and I’m already looking forward to the next one where I will hopefully work up the courage to actually speak to others. These people are my tribe and I don’t have to be ashamed of loving Dr. Who and Star Trek and anything that Stan Lee ever creates. I give you a lot of credit for making me see that and giving me the courage to step out and be awesome!

"P.S. Attached is the worst possible picture of my husband and I as the 11th Doctor and Amy Pond, but quality aside, we were having fun."

Sierra, the courage was all you, my friend, and you ROCKED it. I bet someone reading this right now just decided to go to HER first convention, so thanks for sharing your story and encouraging us all to get out there and live the lives we want to live, not just the ones we think are expected.

Ok, that does it for this installment, Exemplars! I'll try to do this more often, though, so I can chisel away at the small backlog I've accumulated. Which reminds me: If you have an Exemplar story to share, or a fun photo of yourself or your kids showing off your geeky passions, then please send them to me! (Or share them over on the Epbot Facebook page!)


  1. This is so great!

    I smiled so big yesterday when it was "Iron Man" day at church (yes, I go to a totally awesome church that had a guy dressed in the Iron Man suit for kids to take pictures with). There was a little girl, maybe 4, who was eagerly clutching her Iron Man action figure, waiting for her picture.

    Future geek girl!!! Hopefully my little girl will love geeky things too. She's only 18 months, so too early to tell. But we are already indoctrinating her with Who and Trek.

  2. *love*
    Everything about this post made my day :)
    I recently made my niece into a whovian & suspect I'll need to knit another 4th doctor scarf again
    ~erin kristine

  3. I really, really want someone to make a Darth Vader riding a My Little Pony Lawn statue. So classy.

  4. I can't WAIT to see Abi's steampunk phantom!! I really hope she sends a pic then! POTO is my geek-dom of choice and dressed up as him in high school as well :) Serious squee over here!

  5. Oh wow, Sierra's first convention was also my first convention! I recognize the tower in the background- what a small world! I'm glad she's embraced her geekiness :) She and her husband are adorable!

  6. Jen, thank you for pointing me to Superheroes are for girls, too! I love seeing little girls as superheroes and makes me wish for a little girl to do this with.

  7. One of my best friends growing up, who is also a fellow geek, has been teaching his 3 year old daughter about Star Wars and all sorts of other geekery and I'm so proud of him since his wife is not into the geek stuff. Best quote of the week last week - he called to tell me that when he asked his daughter on Friday morning if she had good dreams she replied: "Yes, Batman and Spiderman were watching butterflies." Such a priceless mental picture! I can even see it in drawn out in a comic book panel! It's so encouraging to see little girls thinking nothing of mixing what they love together and they don't even think about whether it's cool for girls to play with it. Imagine what kind of creativity will bloom as they grow older. Thanks for bringing out the long forgotten geek in all of us Jen!!

  8. These stories always give me the best kind of goosebumps! HUG ALL THE GEEKS.

  9. Thanks for sharing the Darth's greatest hits Cake Wrecks post. I have been meaning to find it to show to my daughter ("Red R2D2" at the top) because she would love that Darth riding the pony cake, highlighting a love of both Star Wars and My Little Ponies, although if I show it to her, she may suddenly ask for it for her birthday in a few weeks. She has planned on having a Little Einsteins party for her birthday for several months now, but around the time her costume arrived (after months of begging), she says she wants her next birthday party to have a Star Wars theme. I know her big brother will approve (he had a Star Wars 5th birthday, too). :)

  10. I feel bad for those of you that have hidden your inner geek. All my friends growing up, were boys, and I had no idea that I wasn't supposed to like Dr. Who, and the Hitchhikers Guide, and superhero tv shows, and movies. I grew up with DW, and the Hulk, and Superman, and sci-fi novels. My kids have no problem showing off their inner and outer weirdo either, and I love that about them. (:

  11. My best friend just moved into her new apartment this weekend and her five yeard old daughter has been telling everyone who will listen that she lives in a "Tardis House" now. The reason? She heard me saying that the apartment looks so small but is actually quite big inside. She must have made the connection and the rest is history. Mind you, she went as a Dalek - a pink Dalek - to Wondercon last year, so this should be no surprise :-)

  12. My daughter met R2D2 this weekend and asked if there are any rainbow R2D2s! She would love that to happy too. (the pic of her meeting R2D2 will be up on Girls Love Superheroes soon).

  13. I'd like to point out the winged Goomba that's on the other zipper of the Princess backpack.

  14. I'm trying to get my mum to knit my 5 month old daughter a TARDIS hat. I've designed it and everything. But she doesn't "get" Dr. Who. Alas! that I myself have zero patience when it comes to knitting hats.

    I did, however, put a TARDIS on top of her name-day cake (my daughter's, not my mum's, duh) A rather crooked-cracked-fondant kind of TARDIS, but a TARDIS none the less.

  15. When I was in school (this year is my 30th high school reunion), we really didn't have the geek subclass. I was a member of the the very small rejects from the rejects group, that's not what I'm writing to talk about, as those friendships were good. I was never ashamed of being the sci-fi/fantasy/anything I could get my hands on reader. I played Dungeons and Dragons (2nd edition) and went to see sci-fi/comic book movies, alone if I had to. (That is until this new 3D craze, which makes seeing most modern movies nauseating experiences for me.)

    But, I've never been to a con. This is partially there are never anywhere near where I live. And it is partially because, like Jen, I suffer from significant anxiety issues. As I've gotten older, my anxiety worsens. As I have no friends that go to things like that, I have never gone...because I cannot go places like that by myself. Also, I have purely physical issues that would make an experience like that truly painful to get through. (End of pitiful back story.)

    Now, having made myself look truly pathetic, what I really wanted to say was that reading about these girls is truly inspiring. These are the type of girls who will grow into strong, inspirational women. Kudos to them all!

    1. I'm just a bit younger than you, girl (45 on Friday-- how'd THAT happen?!), and my story is almost the same... except for the "never been to a con" bit. I swear, cons and Rocky Horror saved my young nerd LIFE.

      As far as not having friends to go with you (I'm with you there too; I have anxiety/panic and cannot go anywhere by myself), pardon me for being enough of a Taurus Klingon to come out and say it, but anyone who is your true friend would accompany you to a con JUST BECAUSE IT WOULD GET YOU OUT *AND* MAKE YOU HAPPY. I shame them! SHAME! Cons have something for literally EVERYONE, and mundanes would be surprised what a good time they'd have if they'd give it a try. Plus, don't kid yourself-- nerds know how to par-TAY!

      As I've mentioned before, the majority of cons are not even close to the size of Comic Con or Dragon*Con or other cons covered/usurped by the media; they're usually small fan-run affairs, put on not for profit or with Big Media Sponsors, but nerdfolk who just want to hang with Their Own. The crowds and area covered are a mere fraction of the hordes you see on TV; they are usually held at hotels. Plus, since you mentioned mobility issues, most of your better cons have a Disabled Services department (I was Assistant Disabled Liason for Comic Con '87-'97), who exist solely for the purpose of making sure you get around and enjoy yourself. They usually have wheelchairs you can check out/rent, and strapping young volunteers to haul yer carcass around. And as I've said before; most people at a con have physical and/or mental issues of their own to deal with, and would be the last people to clock you for yours.

      It CAN happen, if you want it badly enough, and I swear to Bowie, you'd have a great time and make friends all over the place. Hell, if I knew where you lived, I'd drag you to one my damn self. C'mon, girl, there's all-night D&D games at these things; you need to go to one just to show those young geekboys how an old school nerdgirl DOES IT!

      Best of luck to you. Hail, and well-met! :)

      Your Pal,


  16. Psst... Alex Law = Alexandria Law

    And yes, I agree that her stuff is Ah-Mazing!

  17. I was extremely lucky growing up to have a close-knit group of friends who not only liked some of the things that I liked, but accepted the differences between us. We shared and introduced each other to things we enjoyed and thus our geekiness expanded. We would have mass recitations of Monty Python, all-night Lord of the Rings marathons and gamer breaks in between class consisting of MarioKart or Smash Bros. tournaments. Then I moved away to university and realised that I could spot a geek a mile off. It's like we are a secret society, and tiny references to things we love are worn as a signal to other lovers-of-stuff that it's safe to approach. An insanely long scarf or a bowtie here (accompanied by the passphrase "bowties are cool"), a brown coat or judicious use of 'shiny' there and instantly we had something to talk about, which led to a friendship based on mutual love.

    For that is what being a geek is all about; love. We love TV shows and films, we love smart humour and irreverence, we love sharing these things with our friends and we love the new connections we make through this love.

    Love long and prosper.

  18. What RuPaul says to drag queens applies equally well to nerdgirls of all ages. Ladies, repeat after me, loud and proud:


    Go on, nerdgirls. Get yo life!

    (Side note: Hey, Jen, we're been kinda sorta Interwebz Palz for nearly 5 years now! May 1 is the fifth anniversary of my Star Trek Nerd Dream Wedding. I remember thinking, "She's always mentioning Trek on Cake Wrecks... I wonder if she'd be amused by my wedding cake?" and sent you some pics, which you featured in a Star Trek Sunday Sweets, to my surprise! Been a hardcore Jenfan ever since, and always will be. Continue to jam out with your clam out ;)

    Cheers, thanks a lot,


  19. I also feel sad for any girl who feels they have to hide who they are. I grew up in the 70's and was the only girl with a Star Wars lunchbox and R2D2 necklace. Most of my friends were also boys and it was great! And Adi, you are amazing. Be yourself and totally wear that costume to school someday!

  20. What awesome stories and great gals! I love reading the Exemplar posts. I literally squealed when I saw Hayden with her cake, and got several looks of "what the heck?" from my coworkers. :D

  21. I love these posts. It makes me wonder how my own childhood and adolescence would've been different with the Internet.

  22. props to all the girls, and to Sierra, that pic was taken (i think) in my home town. I just want her to know, there are DEFINITELY more geek girls in this town; she is so not alone. ^^

  23. These posts give me hope for the world. <3

  24. I'm catching up on Epbot today, (Your gaming post arrived just in time to share with the anime club gals - thanks!)and really wanted to share my mother-daughter cosplay from Halloween before last. Possibly *the* most obscure animated fandom cosplay ever: I was a time-traveling mixed martial artist from the future; she was a ninja vampire. At every trick-or-treat location, I'd groan, "I picked the wrong day to quit carrying garlic-scented throwing stars." Unfortunately, I can't find the pictures, so here's my bunny girl as her (then) favorite super-hero: Larry Boy. And no, those aren't real plungers.

  25. one of my bffs has the TARTIS hat and wears it with her "Wibbly wobbly, timey wimey" shirt, trench coat and bow tie for "Whovian Wednesday. she's a big fan


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